The Secret History of Costaguana, By Juan Gabriel Vásquez (trs Anne McLean)
There's the seed of a great novel in here somewhere
Sunday 12 June 2011
You can only tell your reader that "it's too soon to explain everything" once.
The self-consciously postmodern flavour of Juan Gabriel Vásquez's historical novel – in which the Colombian Jose Altamirano claims to have given Joseph Conrad the idea for his novel Nostromo – has been done to death. Wrong-footing the reader with characters that appear only to disappear again, and deliberate confusion over the sequences of events, is also a too familiar trick – even if it is meant to mirror the complexity and violence of an emerging nation.
But there's a great idea for a novel in here somewhere. Vasquez can be both funny and erudite, and his protagonist is appealing in his love for a father who barely knows him.
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Avengers: Age of Ultron set to make box office history with $84.5m US opening
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
The highly NSFW poster for Gaspar Noé's Love makes Nymphomaniac look like 50 Shades
New on Netflix UK May 2015: From Fast & Furious 6 to World War Z and Grace and Frankie
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds